Increase high range by 4 notes in 6 weeks?



  • Is it possible to increase my range from comfortable C/D’s above the stave to a G in 6 weeks? I can get a decent E on occasion but not reliably. Playing 2nd trumpet for the show Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the part requires a high C,D,E,G,F run. Neither I or the first trumpet can get the notes, but the MD thinks I can ‘get it’ in time for the show. I’m not so sure.



  • Maynard, Wayne and Louis could. Seriously, way too many variables in a question like that to be able to answer it.



  • I would also say it's an open-ended question. Personally, I would concentrate on Maggio for that goal, but, well, I've already said it.



  • For sure you won't get if if you don't try. I am not going to say it is impossible, but it is improbable. Again, let me reflect that you need muscle tone to do this. It takes 6 weeks to add to tone, and that is if you do it right.

    Let me ask this question, would you expect a weight lifter that can press 200 lbs to lift (without a spotter) 300 lbs in 6 weeks? That is quite a demand. And to do this without straining or pulling muscle is the other risk that must be balanced. If the 6 week goal was to get to 225 lb, then a much higher chance of achieving this would be seen.

    So can you get a solid D range to an G in 6 weeks? That is an audacious goal. I do believe the E can be achieved, and perhaps the F, but another whole step to G is quite a task to achieve in 6 weeks, based on the training of muscle to support such a demand in such a short time.

    To say it is impossible, I cannot go there. Here is what I suggest doing. Try to find the slurring studies of Cat Anderson and start working on these. Also, in between practice, take your mouthpiece and play it into a hand towel. Do this a half hour, twice a day. For the majority of the time (75%), take you mouthpiece towel range to that C. Then the additional time, start working the mouthpiece towel to above the C.

    The reason for doing this is to train your lips to perform at a resistance much greater than you will feel when you do this with the horn. In so doing you will not only develop strength, but also the feeling of not having to push so hared once you remove that resistance (going back to the horn). This also trains you to RELAX once you are back to your horn with more muscle strength. RELAXING is just as important to prevent you from intuitively straining to put additional force you really don't need, and will only serve to close off your airflow.

    So good luck and do keep us updated.



  • I'm not going to say it won't work for someone else, but if I free buzzed an hour a day, my chops would be inflexible, even somewhat hardened, and it would definitely work to my detriment.



  • @Kehaulani said in Increase high range by 4 notes in 6 weeks?:

    I'm not going to say it won't work for someone else, but if I free buzzed an hour a day, my chops would be inflexible, even somewhat hardened, and it would definitely work to my detriment.

    Agreed. Not free buzzing with absolutely no resistance, but playing (not buzzing) into a towel. This is a totally different process. Try it. Experience the feeling on your lips when you finish. It feels different, You can feel the tone.



  • Playing relaxed (softly) as you go up is key. See the following:



  • Thanks for the replies. I’m even more convinced it’s not going to happen for me in the timescale. The Charlie Porter video showed exactly what I do but shouldn’t!


  • Global Moderator

    My opinion: not likely. Sorry! 🙂



  • Increasing range is not a linear process. The higher you go, the harder it is to get to the next increment, and focus must be on playing well, not on a push to get the next note. Incorporating a fixed time frame can be counterproductive. Keep trumpet playing enjoyable. While overcoming a challenge is a healthy goal for improvement, unnecessary pressure to perform is not.



  • @J-Jericho
    Fair comment. The timescale is not my choice, but that of the requirement for the show. I played all of the the show today, as part of my practice and did hit the G successfully once or twice, mainly by trying to play it softly. It gave me hope that I might get there, eventually.



  • A little disrespectful. perhaps, but Tim Went on Trumpet Herald is a regular contributor who has a ton of Broadway-type shows and is willing to give advice about playing shows. Nice guy. His pseudonym is trpthrld. As an afterthought, John Mohan is an experienced show player, on TH, also.



  • Bill Chase used to use long-tones to increase range.

    The answer, once again, is long-tones!



  • @Vulgano-Brother said in Increase high range by 4 notes in 6 weeks?:

    Bill Chase used to use long-tones to increase range.

    The answer, once again, is long-tones!

    alt text


  • Global Moderator

    @Vulgano-Brother said in Increase high range by 4 notes in 6 weeks?:

    Bill Chase used to use long-tones to increase range.

    The answer, once again, is long-tones!

    I have learned a great lesson in my short, 29 years of life.

    Here's how it goes:

    If it hurts (temporarily)...
    If it isn't very fun...
    If it isn't easy...
    If it isn't popular...
    If it isn't exciting...
    If you don't look forward to doing it when you wake up in the morning...
    If it takes a long time...
    If it requires patience...
    If it eschews pride and embraces humility...

    It's probably right!



  • @Tobylou8 said in Increase high range by 4 notes in 6 weeks?:

    @Vulgano-Brother said

    The answer, once again, is long-tones!

    alt text

    AND MY REPLY:
    c38a13a9-1902-4a29-affc-e97ba3d1f768-image.png


  • Qualified Repair Techs

    Range building should be a long term goal, not a short term goal. Musical Directors can hope all they want, but you can only build what you can build, and we’re all different. Don’t hurt yourself to force out some unreliable pitches that aren’t part of your regular daily ability. Build what you can and find a musical way around the rest - your audience will thank you, and so will your chops!



  • Update. While I’m still convinced I won’t gain the G in time to be able to play it well enough, or reliably enough, to perform it in the show, I am making more progress than I expected. I can, at least, hit it occasionally. Something I couldn’t do at all when I made the original post. And when I do get it, it’s a real note that I can hold for 8 or more beats, not just a weak squeak. There’s hope for this old man yet.



  • @Rapier232 said in Increase high range by 4 notes in 6 weeks?:

    Update. While I’m still convinced I won’t gain the G in time to be able to play it well enough, or reliably enough, to perform it in the show, I am making more progress than I expected. I can, at least, hit it occasionally. Something I couldn’t do at all when I made the original post. And when I do get it, it’s a real note that I can hold for 8 or more beats, not just a weak squeak. There’s hope for this old man yet.

    I knew you would work toward achieving this goal. I know you will own that G withing the next couple of months. Great Work Rapier232! Proud of you!


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